Preview: Big Men of Northwest Louisiana

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Louisiana

Posted On: 10/4/18 12:01 AM

Last month I previewed some of the big men who played in the basketball gyms throughout the northeastern portion of Louisiana. Big men like Jourdain Dishmond and Rollin Belton will be roaming the hardwood and making a name for themselves in the high school ranks. Well, there are five big men in the northwest corner of the state who are just as talented. We will take a look at them and talk about their performance this summer and their outlook for the season.

Jessie Davis / 6’7″ / Red River High School / 2019

Davis was one of the more active players on the grassroots scene this summer.  Playing with Louisiana Elite, Davis got a chance to practice, and play, against high level players from across the country in the UAA.  This allowed Davis to increase the momentum he carried into the off season from his outstanding semifinal game against Rayville.  Jessie is a big time offensive rebounder.  With his athleticism, he gets many tip-ins and put backs.  He makes it super hard to keep him off the boards.  Defensively, he can guard as many as three positions.  His athletic talent seems limitless on the basketball court.  Look for Davis to make a big impact as the Red River Bulldogs seek to win the 2A title this season.   

Kenny Hunter / 6’8″ / Huntington High School / 2020

Hunter is probably the most gifted, athletically, of this big man bunch.  His long strides allow him to change ends of the floor with ease.  Kenny also has a nice touch from mid-range which allows him to step away from the basket to score.  With his long arms, he gathers offensive and defensive boards without trouble from defenders.  If he is not blocked out, watch out from him to rock the rim.  Hunter went through some growing pains on offense last year but should have them worked out after putting in work this summer.  Defensively, he is ahead of the curve when it comes to blocking and altering shots.  His wing span gives him the ability to alter perimeter shots as well as shots around the basket.  He is also very good off the ball with timely blocks from the opposite post.  Look for this big man to challenge for a spot on the 1-4A first team this season with his play.

Thomas Howell / 6’7″ / St. Mary’s High School / 2020 (pictured above)

Howell is definitely one of the more athletic big men to grace this area in awhile.  He capped off a dominant post season with a double-double performance in the state championship final loss to Lafayette Christian.  From there, Howell went on to have a solid summer with Louisiana Elite.  Now, it is time for the encore which is his junior season.  Thomas has an offensive game that fits his athleticism.  He used jump hooks and rebound put backs to score because he is stronger and more athletic than people he is being guarded by.  Guards can find him above the rim with passes as well.  Another 1st team all state selection is forthcoming.  If everything falls his way, maybe a state championship as well.  

D’ante Bell / 6’8″ / Bossier High School / 2020

With a sophomore season that had it’s fair share of ups and downs, Dante Bell needed some positive energy going into his junior season.  Well, the grassroots summer season for this player came.  He traveled during that time with Louisiana Supreme and got a chance to match his abilities against some of the better players on the Adidas Gauntlet.  What came of it is a player who is more assertive and aggressive around the rim.  He already possessed scary athleticism.  Now, he has added passing ability and post moves to his arsenal.  This has led to him picking up a few D1 offers as well.  Being the best big man in 1-4A will assuredly gain him all district first team honors.  If he performs as he did this summer, the all state team should not be far from his grasp either.  

Kamren Davis / 6’7″ / Southwood High School / 2019

One kid that will not be performing this season, unfortunately, seems to be Kamren Davis.  The stud post player who began his career at Parkway High as a freshman played his last high school game against his former team.  In that game he looked a shell of his former self scoring only four points and not being much of a defensive presence.  He also played this summer and was not in the best shape.  However, he did contribute to a Louisiana Elite team who was 6-2 during the first portion of the UAA season.  The reason he is included in this article is because if he finds a way back to the floor this season, and is motivated, he can be a difference maker.  When he is on, Davis can protect the rim, shoot the mid range jumper, and has great foot work in the post.  A college or university should still take a flyer on his talent because he is 6’7″.  They might just get a steal.  

The post men in the northwest corner of Louisiana are some of the best around.  They have performed on the grassroots level as well as for their high school teams.  I would be surprised if all of the ones who are playing this season do not make the all state team.  These young men are that good.  With that said, hopefully each one of them will have one of their best seasons yet.